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Ring sizing help needed


#1

Hello Orchidland, First: the lesson I learned is ALWAYS look at
hallmarks under magnification before doing anything else.

My problem:   After I'd cut this 14K yellow and white gold wedding

band down for sizing and brought the ends together, the ring would
change shape when heated for soldering so that there was a
significant gap between the ends. As the ring cooled, the gap would
diminish and the ends would come back together. I tried a clamp -
same story. I tried binding wire, once then a second time with
multiple wraps - same story.

Finally, I took it to the microscope and found beside the 14K mark,

in tiny letters: “900 Plat, 100 Irid.” You could see the light
bulb blaze on over my head as I realized that the small "white gold"
band on the top of the yellow gold band is actually platinum.
(There must be a huge differential in expansion between the two
metals as the platinum band is quite small in comparison to the
yellow gold band.)

So, now what do I do?  I checked my reference books and although a

reference is made to concerns related to compressing mixed metal
bands, there is nothing about cutting them down.

I'm hoping someone out there will (after shaking his/her head over

my stupidity) be able to tell me how to accomplish my goal. Is this
a job for a laser? Judy in Kansas - wiser now for sure!

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936


#2

judy: I couldn’t help but think that there is no need to hest the
entire piece to solder the joint. What you need is a very hot flame
and pinpoint it. then heat sink the band so it won’t react to the
heat and bear in with a hot quick flame… you may have to use a
white gold to solder as most platinum solder is way above 14k temps.
i would solder the platinum with a medium solder and finish with
yellow easy. or you could fuse it, but i would not recomend as the
temps would melt the 14k before the platinum could reach fuse temp.
I would think a lazer could accomplish it with the least risk…

ringman


#3

Heat the ring opposite the cut after you have used a stainless steel
hose clamp to hold your ring round. Lloyd.


#4

I recently had this same problem. A retired cabinetmaker needed his
wedding ring cut off. It was crushed into an oval shape. He wanted
it soldered together again so he could wear it on a chain.

The outside was platinum, the inside band was 14K. I got the joint
nice and tight, applied the heat and it opened up like a big yawn.
Removed the heat and it came right back to tight. I tried bending and
shaping it to get the maximum tension on the joint to no avail.

Binding wire slipped off, clamps failed, etc.

My final solution, which worked, was to wrap the thing in a virtual
cocoon of 28 ga. niobium wire and clamp it in my engraver’s ball
with just enough ring showing to get the torch on it. Like I said,
this worked. My engraver’s vise has a little blistered paint but the
customer has his ring. One of my scariest "It’ll be $20"
experiences.

John Flynn


#5

Judy, I had the same problem a couple of years ago, trying to size a
Platinum and 18K band. Actually kind of an interesting phenomenon,
isn’t it? I ended up clamping it in a vise and went in with a small
but very hot flame. I managed to solder it, but there was some
deformation in the ring. Not a big problem to round it out again.
A fellow goldsmith said he holds similar rings in a pair of pliers
to solder them. A laser would seem to be the ideal solution, if you
have access to one. -BK in AK


#6

Hi, John, My husband’s wedding ring has been crushed into an oval
too. Both our rings are the same, Platinum with an 18K yellow gold
braid inside (plus a twisted wire of rose gold). We have not worn
our original rings, because his got similarly “squished” into an oval

  • although he was able to get it off, and mine is a little too
    small. They are both the “comfort fit” shaped band, which didn’t work
    for me and my bad knuckle. I’ve been told that the only way mine could
    be sized is to have some degree of metal filed away on the inside of
    the band, which appears as all platinum on the inside. So between his
    needing to be UN-squished, and mine needing to be increased a little,
    I wondered if this was even possible given all the metals. We don’t
    need any cutting, but it still sounds like it’s probably more
    complicated than I thought.

Thanks very much for sharing this story!
Mary Beth